Mary Young launched her self-titled intimates label in the fall of 2014 with a refreshing perspective compared to others in her industry - her goal is to create undergarments that don't reshape, but rather embrace a woman's natural shape. While the ethical and sustainable garments make you feel good about what you're wearing, more importantly, Mary strives to make women feel good about themselves. Keep reading to find out more about the incredible woman behind the brand that's opening up the dialogue and focusing on self love and acceptance.
ACE: WHAT ARE YOU UP TO? ( YOUR CURRENT HUSTLE )
Mary: I’m the CEO and designer of my namesake lifestyle lingerie line, MARY YOUNG. Building a brand from scratch, especially a product based business, is no walk in the park, so you can find me working on anything and everything from managing suppliers, constructing marketing plans and styling our photoshoots.
ACE: WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU? ( WHERE DID THIS PASSION COME FROM? )
Mary: From a young age I was always starting businesses and trying to sell things I made, honestly anything and everything was for sale. I also loved fashion, constantly designing dresses out of kleenex for my barbies all the way to designing and sewing prom dresses. During school it only made sense to combine these two and try and sell things I was making - first was a small accessories line of knitted headbands and scarves. As my experience grew I knew that one day I would be running my own company on a bigger scale, aka not just a side hustle.
ACE: WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB GROWING UP? HOW DO YOU THINK THIS HAS INFLUENCED WHO YOU ARE TODAY?
Mary: When I was really young I wanted to be a model, but after a while I realized I wasn’t what the industry considered a model to be, so I shifted my dreams. One of the things I loved about the idea of being a model is wearing lots of different clothes that can make you feel confident, so the easy transition was to make those clothes. As young as thirteen I was sketching and designing my own clothes and even more so, logos for my future clothing line. These dreams and ideas truly shaped where I am today.
ACE: IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONLY THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Mary: Determined, caring and passionate.
I’ve always been determined, whatever I decide to do, trust me, I will do just that. From a young age I’ve always been caring, volunteering my time to others and giving back in any way I can. The way I describe passion is a powerful desire to care, pursue and fulfill ideas, plans, etc. I put my whole heart into things, whether it be work or relationships, I’m fully present and invested.
ACE: WHO’S YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION AND WHY?
Mary: My biggest inspiration is my mother. She was the breadwinner for my family, setting such an amazing example of how women are truly equal to men. She has also overcome so many obstacles and hurdles life has thrown at her with such grace, patience and humour that I can only strive to resemble her in those ways.
ACE: WHAT DOES THE TERM “BOSS BABE” MEAN TO YOU?
Mary: Boss Babe to me means someone who is empowered to be their own boss, however that may look.
ACE: HOW DO YOU EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN?
Mary: The best way I can empower women is to encourage them, to support them and to love them. I encourage women to celebrate their bodies, to love their shape and to feel confident in who they are. I support other women every chance I can, whether that’s shopping at women-owned companies, or just being there for a friend on a good or bad day. I also believe we are all missing love in our lives. We often get caught up in the negative and complain about our realities, when in reality if we loved each other and ourselves more, we would see the positive in the world and make this a better place for us and the generations to come.
ACE: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED FROM ANOTHER WOMAN?
Mary: I don’t remember any specific advice from other women, but what I remember the most is the genuine support from other women. To me that isn’t as readily available as much as tidbits of advice. So my advice to other women is to actually support one another - show up to events and releases, shop other female owned brands and share what other women are doing with your community.
ACE: CAN YOU SHARE THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM A FAILURE?
Mary: The biggest and best lesson I’ve learnt from failure is to humble yourself. By realizing you cannot do it all, you will make mistakes and you will be okay, is a great way to humble yourself and pick yourself up to keep going forward.
ACE: WHEN YOU ARE FEELING OVERWHELMED, WHAT DO YOU DO TO FIND PEACE?
Mary: When I’m feeling the most overwhelmed I find peace in exerting energy - often by going for a run or a high intensity workout. When I’m overwhelmed, I feel like a coke bottle that was shaken and is about to burst. So instead of bursting in the wrong way, or at someone, I take it out in a physical way.
ACE: WHAT LEGACY DO YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR?
Mary: My goal is to be remembered for encouraging women to have more love for themselves.
ACE: WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOU?
Mary: I’m everywhere! Well not really, but you can find us online at maryyoung.ca and on all social platforms at @itsmaryyoung
Stay connected with Mary: @itsmaryyoung